ALPMA Appoints New President – Andrew Barnes, Financial Controller of the Legal Lantern Group

The Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) today appointed Mr Andrew Barnes, Financial Controller for the Lantern Legal Group, as its President, following the departure of Mr Anthony Bleasdale who has accepted a new role as Director of BigHand in Asia Pacific.

“On behalf of all ALPMA members, I sincerely thank Tony for his fantastic service to ALPMA as President, Board and NSW Committee member and we look forward to working with him in his new role as Director for BigHand,  one of our major sponsors,” Mr Andrew Barnes,  ALPMA President said.

Andrew Barnes is the Financial Controller for Sladen Legal, and is passionate about encouraging an environment where non-lawyers have an active seat at the decision-making table at law firms.

“I think law firms can benefit by engaging their non-legal managers earlier in discussions on strategy or decision making in general,” Mr Barnes said.

“A non-legal perspective can be very worthwhile, particularly given most of the deliberations with respect to strategy or day-to-day operations are deliberations which do not require legal training but delve into disciplines where management has expertise such as finance, technology, HR or  marketing,” he said.

He said that if firms insist on keeping such discussions as the exclusive realm of the partners, the flip side is to ensure they are exposed to new management (not legal) thinking via organisations such as ALPMA.

“I recently returned from the ALA Convention (run by ALPMA’s sister association in the USA) and this was a recurring theme – let managers manage so the lawyers can lawyer and grow the business. Start by asking whether your firm is a business and then accept that you can be both a business and a profession, ” he said.

Mr Barnes is also Treasurer of the ALPMA Victorian Committee and a member of the ALPMA Summit Committee.  He served as ALPMA Vice President until his appointment as President.

Ms Valmai Vickers, Senior Practice Administrator at Ryan Carlisle Thomas has been appointed ALPMA Vice President.   Ms Susan Comerford,  People & Practice Development Manager at Cowell Clarke Lawyers, has been appointed ALPMA Company Secretary, taking over the role from Ms Vickers.


The Australasian Legal Practice Management Association, (ALPMA), is the peak body representing law firm managers and leaders. ALPMA provides an authoritative voice on issues relevant to legal practice management.  ALPMA delivers a comprehensive professional development program for members, which includes the annual ALPMA Summit, regular practice management seminars across Australia and New Zealand, the Leading Your Firm program, a new ALPMA initiative proudly sponsored by BigHand and Thomson Reuters to meet the professional development needs of law firm leaders at smaller and regional law firms, online resources and a legal industry research program.